12 nurse innovators in 2021

Erica Carbajal -

While nurses' clinical roles throughout the COVID-19 pandemic dominated news stories, many nurses also made headlines for creative medical innovations or entrepreneurship efforts aimed at improving patient outcomes and protecting healthcare workers. 

Here are stories about 12 nurse innovators Becker's published in 2021: 

1. Barbara Wadsworth, DNP, RN, COO and chief nursing officer at Radnor Township, Pa.-based Main Line Health, invented a fall-injury-prevention device, the health system said in November. Main Line Health has applied for a patent for the device, which is a portable airbag that is deployed if a sensor detects a patient is falling.

2. Hilary Rogers, RN, a nurse at Chattanooga, Tenn.-based Erlanger Health System, launched an initiative to give hospitalized COVID-19 patients care packages supported by community donations, local NBC affiliate WRCB reported Oct. 25. The initiative started at Erlanger East Hospital in Chattanooga and has since expanded to several other hospitals in the system. 

3. Marilyn Filter, PhD, RN, associate professor at University of Michigan-Flint's School of Nursing, and Lyn Behnke, DNP, an assistant professor of nursing at the college, invented a new scope to make vaginal and rectal exams less invasive. The two nurses have spent the last two and one-half years developing the prototype and are now looking at starting clinical trials, according to an Oct. 19 news release. 

4. Stephanie White, RN, on Oct. 23 opened a scrub apparel shop in Chesapeake, Va., that features diverse styles of scrubs along with other medical accessories and personal protective equipment, according to Inside Business.

5. Gracia Boseman, RN, and Kristy Causey, MSN, RN, designed a flu pandemic escape room that led to an increase in hand-washing and flu vaccine acceptance at Temple-based Central Texas Veterans Health Care System, according to a June 28 news release

6. Toi Worthy, MSN, a family nurse practitioner in Ohio, was inspired to create a kit for at-home health monitoring after learning she had high blood pressure five years ago. The kit, which Ms. Worthy started selling in 2020, features a cardiology-grade stethoscope, pulse oximeter, wrist blood pressure cuff, contactless thermometer and a health resource guide, Spectrum News 1 reported June 16. 

7. Rachell Dumas, RN, an Atlanta-based nurse who contracted COVID-19 while working on the pandemic's front line last year, launched a consulting company to help organizations improve pandemic preparedness, the Atlanta Journal Constitution reported March 31. 

8. Timothy Aurelio, BSN, RN, an emergency room nurse at Providence, R.I.-based Roger Williams Medical Center, invented a portable case for clinicians to store their N95 masks, NBC affiliate WJAR reported March 29. 

9. Anthony Scarpone-Lambert, a nursing student at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, and Jennifferre Mancillas, BSN, RN, created a wearable nightlight to help clinicians avoid disturbing patients at night, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported Feb. 3. 

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